Data 61

Data 61 Open Data PortalData 61 Open Data PortalData 61 Planning Wall


Data 61 was tasked to refresh, Australia’s open data portal. The team created an open-source data platform that’s faster, simpler and fantastically federated (meaning data from other portals gets sucked into this one source). A common customer pain point was that they couldn’t find what they were looking for. We expanded the library from 28,600 to 57,600 datasets.

To counteract irrelevant search results, we implemented elastic search, smart search filters and data and table previews. 70% of usability participants used the smarter search filters in their first experience of the product.

The data portal is a responsive website and open source piece of software.


When I joined, the team had built a great microservices backend and was in need of some direction and design for features and improvements. I created fast validation on the customer base and their needs using contextual inquiries, market and academic research and by looking at analytics.


I discovered that every organisation had their own bespoke way of publishing data, most of it offline.

Taking that knowledge back to the team, we came up with a clear goal, metrics of success and a roadmap that fitted the funding timeline.


We improved the way that people preview datasets. Instead of having to download a dataset, open it up and input it into a visualisation or mapping piece of software, users can now preview the data within the portal. Their decision process reduced from half an hour to two minutes.

Accessibility is always a strong point, but even more so when you’re building software for government clients. We contributed to the federal government’s design language during the design process.

The next question to be answered is: How might we get internal and external data portals to talk to each other? How can we simplify the data uploading process?